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3Com to Move Out of Silicon Valley

May 06, 2003|From Associated Press

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — 3Com Corp., a onetime pioneer in computer networking that has stumbled in recent years, is moving its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Massachusetts, the company announced Monday.

Chief Executive Bruce Claflin and six other executive positions are being relocated from Santa Clara, Calif., and Illinois to Marlborough, Mass., where most of 3Com's enterprise networking business is based.

Claflin said 3Com plans to focus primarily on enterprise networking.

"Two-thirds of 3Com's U.S. opportunity is on the East Coast and approximately half of our sales are in Europe, meaning the majority of our customers and partners are more accessible from Marlborough than Santa Clara," he said.

Santa Clara officials said the loss of 3Com was unfortunate for the city but not devastating.

Founded in 1979, 3Com popularized Ethernet, which easily connects small networks of computers. At one time, its corporate complex in Santa Clara sprawled across about 1 million square feet.

In 1995, 3Com bought the rights to have its name replace Candlestick on the stadium where the San Francisco 49ers play football.

But with Cisco Systems Inc. now dominating the networking market, 3Com has been scaling back significantly. The company is trying to sell off most of its Santa Clara campus.

Last year, it failed to renew its naming rights deal for the stadium, now called San Francisco Stadium at Candlestick Point.

At one time, 3Com employed about 12,000 people worldwide and 3,400 in Santa Clara. It now has about 3,900 employees worldwide and just 550 in Santa Clara.

3Com shares rose 16 cents Monday to close at $5.40 on Nasdaq.

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